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The Guzman Question

Cristian Guzman is making $8 million this season, in the first year of a two-year, $16 million contract he signed just before the economy deflated. By present standards, he is overpaid. He is also, by present standards, a very necessary part of the Washington Nationals' middle infield. Especially with Alberto Gonzalez now getting the sink-or-swim treatment at second base, the team has few options behind Guzman -- even in the minors.

I mention this only because Guzman's value -- his market value; his value to the Nats -- has been given a fascinating, and ultimately telling, test. According to a report in the Boston Globe, the Red Sox have put a waiver claim on Guzman. Before the Sox would ever have a prayer of snagging the shortstop, every National League team and every other American League team with a weaker record would need to pass on claiming Guzman. But because of his salary, that's a possibility.

Thereafter, the Nats would have three options.

They could work out a trade with the Sox involving Guzman.

They could cancel the waiver and retain Guzman.

Or they could simply allow the Sox to get Guzman without any compensation.

For the Nats, this will be a fascinating decision. Guzman is a guy who needs to hit above .300 to have much value -- his fielding is average at best, and he never walks -- but the switch-hitter is also on a stunning hot streak right now. He spent much of July in a tailspin, unhappy with his role as a No. 6 hitter. Then, on July 21, interim manager Jim Riggleman bumped Guzman back to No. 2. He only got one hit in his first three games in the higher lineup spot, but since July 24, Guzman has hit .467 (28-for-60) with a .717 slugging percentage. He's gotten multiple hits in 12 of 15 games.

If Guzman is traded or given to the Sox (or any other club), the Nats have a few options, but none as reliable as Guzman. Most likely, they'd move Gonzalez to short and stick with Ronnie Belliard at second. But that's a stopgap middle infield at best. The offseason free agent class at shortstop involves guys such as Adam Everett and Jack Wilson -- players who could give you a defensive upgrade at a fraction of Guzman's cost. Class AAA Syracuse shortstop Ian Desmond could also get a look.

So I put the question out there...

By Chico Harlan  |  August 10, 2009; 9:04 AM ET
 
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Comments

That was an easy one.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 10, 2009 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Which option is "volunteer to drive him to Boston"?

Posted by: Brian_ | August 10, 2009 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I think the Nats have to jump at the opportunity to unload that contract. They can figure out shortstop-2010 after the season. Plus, it'd be nice for Guzi to get another shot at the playoffs.

Posted by: Roscoe4 | August 10, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Quick reply from prior post:

NatsNut, I don't plan on suing anyone for being "a little positive," as you put it. I will, however, be filing suit against those posters who have decided that Nyjer Morgan can definitely hit major-league pitching and Lastings Milledge definitely can't, or that Jim Riggleman is *the* reason the Nats are playing better, or that because zOMG a player was put on waviers in August!!! the Nats are about to give away their starting shortstop. You, I'm fine with. It's the other drivers on the road I'm worried about.

And how many times do I have to ask you to stop commenting on my pants? I mean, honestly.

Posted by: Scooter_ | August 10, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Sure he's a good hitter and a longterm Nat, but he's seriously overpaid. I would be happy to see that Bowden signing off the salary list. Maybe the Lerners might actually let out interim GM spend some of it on free agents, maybe on some reliable relief pitchers. I'm dreaming though. I still think it's kind of funny that the commodity we're missing is the only thing the team had going for it the first couple years in DC, and with that good relief pitching we actually managed to go 81-81.

Posted by: futbolclif | August 10, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

It would also be interesting to speculate on who we might be willing to receive in exchange for Guzman. Someone more knoledgeable than me can come up with a list, but let's assume it would be at least someone at AA, and more likely AAA or on the Red Sox major league roster.

Any ideas? The names I saw on the past thread were single A if I remember correctly. I think we would want someone that could be a part of the team in 2010 at the very least, if we are to part with someone that makes positions 1-5 in our batting order as good as almost any other team's right now.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | August 10, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse

You only trade him if you get the Red Sox top prospect or close to it listen the "brain" that is Theo Epstein should know that Guzman is the key to the Sawx postseason hopes and i don't buy this krap about Guzman glove being average at best NO! he's not a gold glover but he is more than competent at that position. Eight mill is a lot but don't blame Guzman because he hit the powerball(JIMBO!!).Christian Guzman and Nyjer Morgan give the Nats a serious 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup and that would be a nice advantage next season if he sticks around.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 10, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

This poll's results make me weep for the republic.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | August 10, 2009 9:39 AM | Report abuse

dargregmag -- if you're so sure he's an average shortstop, you should be able to name 4-5 NL shortstops who are clearly worse defensively.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | August 10, 2009 9:41 AM | Report abuse

The 2009 Baseball America prospect book has 4 shortstop prospects in Boston's top 20. They also have Jed Lowrie at the major league level, many outfield prospects, and numerous pitching prospects.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 10, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

nats don't "free up cash". it's the best argument against the lerner's being cheap. you make a deal and you honor it. everyone knows markets fluctuate. trade him or keep him. i'd trade anyone for the right return.

Posted by: longterm | August 10, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

There are many shortstops who commit more errors (errors of commission) and a few who have less or equally poor range (errors of ommission). But as a complete player, Guzman is middle of the pack at least. This year Guzman is better overall than Hardy, Greene, Renteria, Harris, Crosby, Cabrera, Gonzalez, and Wilson to name just a few. Is he an all-star? No, but he will make the Red Sox better. He would make the Cardinals better. You could even make the case that he would make the Dodgers better (given Furcal's struggles this year).

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 10, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

As Prop Joe told Stringer, you buy it for one dollar, sell it for two.

Guzman's only long-term value to this ballclub (different from the fanbase) is what he brings when he leaves. If you have an opportunity to dictate that now, then it would be malpractice not to.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Longterm has it right. Do I care whether Goozie is stealing his $8M or whether Markie Mark or Uncle Teddy buy more U.S. Treasury bonds with it? If we trade/waive Goozie, there's absolutely no guarantee the Lerners will invest the difference (or the equivalent) in future players. In fact, I would think they wouldn't. See Orlando Hudson, winter 2009. It's a stereotype for a reason, but it's true: Lerners are cheep.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | August 10, 2009 9:57 AM | Report abuse

I would take all of the following NL SS ahead of Guzman when it comes to defense: JJ Hardy (MIL), Jose Reyes (NYM), Jimmy Rollins (PHI), Ryan Theriot (CHC), Rafael Furcal (LAD), Troy Tulowitzki (COL), Hanley Ramirez (FLA), Stephen Drew (AZ), Yunel Escobar (ATL), and Brendan Ryan (STL). That's 10 of the 16 NL teams. And the Pirates aren't included because they dealt Jack Wilson.

Posted by: Brian_ | August 10, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

Christain Guzman is NOT better than Orlando Cabrera. That's crazy talk. But he is very serviceable, and I believe would be a better-than-average 2B next year. That said, I think we need to work something out to get a player back for him. While his salary is too high, the team should only make moves that are smart baseball moves, not smart pocketbook moves. Rizzo has said that is goal, so we'll see what he can do.

Posted by: sec307 | August 10, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

You are probably not going to get much from the Bosox for guzzie due to his salary. I mean, for them to take that much salary off our hands, we might only get an A player, rather than someone at AAA or AA, ready to play. But I would cast him off, because despite his recent play, he is not going to be part of the "ultimate solution", so lets put Desmond out ther for a few weeks and see what he is made of. You can always get an Isturis-type ss out there if Desmond isn't the answer.

Posted by: 1of9000 | August 10, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

UZR (which has some serious caveats) rates Guzman the 4th worst shortstop in baseball:

http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=ss&stats=fld&lg=all&qual=y&type=0&season=2009&month=0

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I'm torn on this one. It wouldn't cry if Guz was traded, but that would leave us with Alberto G manning SS and Beli at 2B.

And then what happens next year? I don't think that free agent salaries will be nearly as depressed as they were last offseason, meaning it will be harder to sign a replacement to a cheap 1-year deal. Case in point, do you really think that Orlando Hudson or Cabrera are going to have to settle for 1-year deals? Eckstein? Granted, 1-year deals aren't exactly necessary, but I don't see the Lerners shelling out in this case.

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 10, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

But it's not like the Sox want Guzman's glove. They want his hitting streak. They need some offense in the AL East to get ahead of the Yankees. And then they'll trade him for something this off-season, probably volunteering to eat some of his salary.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 10:07 AM | Report abuse

You only trade him if you get the Red Sox top prospect or close to it listen the "brain" that is Theo Epstein should know that Guzman is the key to the Sawx postseason hopes and i don't buy this krap about Guzman glove being average at best NO! he's not a gold glover but he is more than competent at that position. Eight mill is a lot but don't blame Guzman because he hit the powerball(JIMBO!!).Christian Guzman and Nyjer Morgan give the Nats a serious 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup and that would be a nice advantage next season if he sticks around.

Posted by: dargregmag
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Well said. With Nyjer's high OBP, and with Guzy giving you a hit almost 1 out of 3 at-bats (higher lately) it has made Guzy into a potential RBI guy. Then Zim and Dunn have Guzy on base to knock in. This is where it is working very similar to what the Phillies put together in their 1-5 batters (Rollins, Victorino, Utley, Howard, Ibanez), but the Nats can now go deeper for big innings with Willingham and then Dukes. The other difference is Guzy gives you that speed you couldn't get from Nick in the 2 hole so he may get you an extra base too!

The Nats again have a "pesty" leadoff man that drives the opposing team crazy. Soriano was pesty in a different way as he had power too, and how many leadoff hitters could hit 40 doubles, have 40 steals, and hit 40 home runs in a season? The answer is only Soriano.

Nyjer won't hit many HRs but he is giving the 3 guys after him RBI opportunities.

Guzy, like Willie Harris, were both given nice contract extensions based on the great seasons they had last year. Who would you rather overpay, Guzy or Kearns?

Absolutely have to keep Guzy unless you get a trade that you can't walk away from. Remember, any SS you may get in for 2010 may cost you $4 to $6 million so your net/net savings may not be as grand as you think.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 10, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Why is everyone so concerned about how much Guzman is being overpaid? Saving his salary next year is only relevant to us fans if (1) the money that would otherwise be paid to Guzman goes to another player who would improve the team and (2) that money would not be spent otherwise. MLB does not have a salary cap, so what's wrong with paying Guzman AND spending money on an improvement at another position? It's not like the free agent SS's are reincarnations of Honus Wagner. If the Lerners deal Guzman, they're likely to pocket the savings and tell Rizzo to play Ian Desmond at SS.

Posted by: chiefwj | August 10, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

For what it's worth, the Boston Globe is now saying that the Sox thought about claiming Guzman but decided against it. Now they would only trade for him if he clears waivers.

Posted by: GoNatsTerps | August 10, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I agree that salary was never the issue. It's personnel you are going to have in two years that is the issue.

Ah, how fleeting are August dreams

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

He's by far the most overrated player on the Nats roster. He's not part of the future. He's expensive. He's not even remotely "average" defensively. He never walks. He has NO power.

Let him go for 0 down if you must. I'd like to see what Desmond has for the rest of the season and then decide if we need to sign someone else this offseason.

Belliard needs to go too for all the same reasons. Can't believe a beat writer would suggest he becomes a regular.

Posted by: Nacer09 | August 10, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The biggest concern for me is not who plays SS if they trade Guzman. Rather, it's who hits in the second spot in the order? Right now we have a better than average MLB offence. Take away Guzman and I'm a little worried. True, we're going no where this year. I'd still feel a little better if we had (or could get) someone to hit behind Morgan. As for next year, I'd love the team to go after Figgins and stick him at 2B, with Gonzo at short. I admit this might be tough to accomplish though. It's a weak Free Agent class but I suspect there will be a lot of competition for Figgins and I have a feeling he'll sign somewhere else. Which returns me to my original point, if Guzzie goes, who bats second?

Posted by: grforbes | August 10, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Was he really put on waivers? If so, what is the logic, except money? Anything else just doesn't make sense. With the Lerners, it is always about money. There was the fake effort on Texiera, the "no interest" in Orlando Hudson, the failure to get something for Cordero and Alfonzo, and the disaster that was Aaron Crow. The Lerners are running this thing like one of its shopping centers; i.e., everybody on minimum wage.

Posted by: willgiery | August 10, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Who bats second? iirc someone here once suggested Dunn because he walks a lot.

Dukes? Gonzalez? I don't know who...it's a good question.

Posted by: derwink | August 10, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

one of the reasons guzman's salary is important is because it affects his trade value. if he were making $4m/yr instead of $8/m next year, he'd have more trade value. the higher salary means less in return, unless you eat salary.

and honestly, i think the nats ownership should eat as much of his salary as they need to if it would improve the return they got for him. they were planning on paying him anyway, it's dead money from that respect. instead of shedding salary, they should add better players.

guzman is middle of the road offensively, at best, as a SS. he's a one-trick pony (average). the allusion to speed earlier is a bit of a joke. guzman is not exactly a speedster. he's not adam dunn, but he's not all that fast.

as 506 pointed out, there are definitely metrics out there that show guzman as a below avg defensive shortstop as well.

look, he's serviceable. he's not hurting us out there. but he's not necessarily a difference maker in any way. and he's not part of the future of this team. people need to stop overvaluing our assets and get realistic.

the real issue w/trading guzman is who plays SS if he goes. short-term, it would seem to have to be gonzales at SS and harris/belly at 2B (barring a SS in return (green??)) from boston. with an acquisition for next year in one of the MI positions (if not both).

Posted by: sec231 | August 10, 2009 10:33 AM | Report abuse

Every August, every major league team places practically every player on revocable waivers. If for no other reason than to see (1) what teams might have interest/would be willing to pay for a player; (2) getting a player through waivers in order to deal him to any team

It has NOTHING to do with being cheap. The Yankees will put likely Derek Jeter on revocable waivers. The Red Sox will likely put Josh Beckett on revocable waivers. Teams just pull the player back if they are claimed and they don't want to move them.

Posted by: Brian_ | August 10, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

oh, and as to the multiple comments from people who think guzman was put on revokable waivers because the lerners are cheap... people, please learn your baseball before making accusations. a minimum of 20% of most rosters end up on revokable waivers in august. it's unbelievably common and you'd obviously be shocked at the full list of who's been put on waivers if you were surprised by guzman.

here's who is known to have *cleared* waivers so far.

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/08/list-of-players-to-clear-waivers.html

the list will be updated. you think the yankees are cheap because they were willing to trade robby cano??

Posted by: sec231 | August 10, 2009 10:37 AM | Report abuse

@gonatsterps. Of course the Saux will only trade for Guzzie if he clears waivers. Thems the rules. Let's remember that the Globe may be the most overrated newspaper in the country and that Saux nation is more unrealistic than even some on this board. Although the panic in Bahston may be heightened by the hot breath of Texas, Tampa Bay and even Seattle for the W/C.

@willgiery. What disaster that was Aaron Crow? This year he was drafted 3 slots lower than the Nats drafted him. He still hasn't signed and is playing in a mediocre independent league. You are only cheap if you won't spend for value. You ain't cheap if you won't throw money at what is not worth it. You are simply smart. I'd put the Lerners in the latter category.

Posted by: Catcher50 | August 10, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

This is about the future. Guzman is NOT a part of said timetable and his salary is too much of a handcuff for the team (he's only making $2M less/yr than Dunn!!).

I would be singing a different tune had Guzman signed at a more reasonable rate, but I don't even want a bag of balls back. Let Gonzo & Belliard take the middle IF spots with a utility guy backing them up (too back about Anderson Hernandez, eh??). Sign a free agent SS for a very reasonable price (since the market is now deflated) and go from there...

Posted by: -CN- | August 10, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I would love to unload Guzman. He is playing very well, for a change. However, he has hit below 0.250 at #8 in the batting order for most of his tenure in DC. He only seems to perform during contract years. The moron waited for a contract year to get his eyes fixed. Now bad vision is the excuse offered for his dismal performance. He may be hot this month, but he has been a liability for the majority of the time spent here.

BUT... Who do the Red Sox have to offer? They are a team that builds mostly through free agency, not their minor league system. I doubt they have any real prospects, which is what Rizzo should be looking for. Unless Boston offers a couple relievers, this will not help the Nats at all.

For two more Sean Burnetts, this a GREAT move for the Nats.

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 10, 2009 10:43 AM | Report abuse

No relief pitchers for Guzman. Relief pitchers are the most unreliable commodity in baseball.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Baseball America had Boston ranked 13th in their pre-season organizational rankings (the Nationals were #21). Saying they don't develop players is silly. They consistently are among the top spenders in the draft and in the international free agent market.

Posted by: Brian_ | August 10, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

lot of crazy speak in here today.

Posted by: longterm | August 10, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Guzman is a middle of the pack SS, but is a good hitter which is why Boston sees him as an upgrade over Lowry. A trade would free up some cash for the Lerners, but it would not result in them signing a legit major-league ready SS for next year. There is already a huge hole at 2nd and that won't be filled from within the Nats minor league system either. Given the number of holes the team still needs to fill in its bullpen, 2nd base, another corner OF (unless Dukes is the answer), why would the Nats want to create another hole for 2010? If the Nats were able to trade Guzman for something of real value which Boston won't give them, then it might make sense. Otherwise, this is just an example of the Lerners saving money at the expense of fielding a decent major league team.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 10, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Every August, every major league team places practically every player on revocable waivers. If for no other reason than to see (1) what teams might have interest/would be willing to pay for a player; (2) getting a player through waivers in order to deal him to any team

It has NOTHING to do with being cheap. The Yankees will put likely Derek Jeter on revocable waivers. The Red Sox will likely put Josh Beckett on revocable waivers. Teams just pull the player back if they are claimed and they don't want to move them.

Posted by: Brian_ | August 10, 2009 10:35 AM

this.

read it.

now read it again.

take notes.

then read it a third time.

it's a formality, perfectly normal, and EVERY TEAM DOES IT. I repeat, EVERY TEAM DOES IT. after the trade deadline, any player that gets traded HAS to pass through revocable waivers first. so they put nearly the entire 40-man roster on Waivers right after the trade deadline passes, so that after they pass through, they can be dealt without having to wait to clear waivers first, since they already did.

if a player is claimed on revocable waivers, the team can A)Let them go for nothing with the claiming team assuming their entire contract, B)Work out a trade with the claiming team, or C)Pull them back off Waivers. If they go with option C, that means the player cannot be placed back on waivers for the rest of the season and therefore cannot be traded at all.

once the player passes through waivers successfully, they can be traded at will.

lemme know if I got those last parts right, Brian.

Posted by: MrMadison | August 10, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who sees the irony in these postings? This board is full of Lerners are cheap and say that the really bad losing the last few years is b/c the owners wouldn't shell out for some stopgap free agents to tide us over until we were ready to contend. The theory was that at least we'd be BETTER -- even if not yet really good -- if only we had signed X. Well, Guzman may not be part of a 2012 pennant contender, but for God's sake all he's done the last two years is hit .315! He's not Ozzie Smith, but so what, he has undeniably made the team better than it would otherwise be with yet another AAA player auditioning...

You can't have it both ways - either you advocate a full-on youth movement, wins be damned for however long (and if so accept that you're payroll will be as low as your winning oddds). Or you accept that to make the team more respectable you're going to have some pro players in the lineup who get paid more than they're worth long term. It's one or the other.

Posted by: cdstej | August 10, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse

So I go away for a few days and the '27 Yankees show up. Sweet.

As for Guzman, I'd deal him if you can get fair value in return. The Nats would have the option in the offseason of signing a low-cost, defensive-minded SS to fill the hole, or go with either Gonzo or Desmond and then see how Espinoza is progressing.

As for the Red Sox building "mostly through free agency, not their minor league system. I doubt they have any real prospects." Consider this:

Pedroia, Youklis, Ellsbury, Lowrie, Lester, Papelbon, Bard, Buchholz. That's a pretty talented bunch of guys from their farm system. There's more talent down there, I just don't know how much of it you're going to get for Guzman.

It seems clear to me that the Lerners can't just cut costs here by trading Johnson, Beimel and Guzman. They need to be ready to spend some in the offseason to beef up this team, especially if they finish with a flourish.

Posted by: baltova1 | August 10, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

what brian said. the red sox have a very good system. a number of their players came up through their system. just because they traded some of their prospects (does hanley ramirez ring a bell?) doesn't mean that they don't develop them.

some of their best relievers (papelbon, bard, delcarmon, bowden) are all home grown.

youklis, pedroia, ellsbury, lester, buchholz, lowrie, varitek...

come on people.

Posted by: sec231 | August 10, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"cut costs here by trading Johnson, Beimel and Guzman."

this is not the concept. the concept is to receive something in return that will make the team better over time. johnson and beimel were FAs after this season. they weren't going to help the team in 2010 or beyond, and the team isn't going anywhere this season. if you can get anything of decent value for them, you trade them.

guzman is a slightly different beast, since he's signed for 2010 and there isn't anyone obvious to replace him (yet). but that doesn't mean trading him is all about saving money. as i said, i'd be all for paying part of his salary if that made the return better. it was a sunk cost anyway.

Posted by: sec231 | August 10, 2009 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The Nationals need to think in terms of what would make us a winner more quickly. Guzzy here batting second or a prospect here in 2010, 2011 or whenever. If the Nats can swing a prospect that will be able to play next year, they should make the deal. If not..... NO DEAL!!!

Posted by: punchdaclock | August 10, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

If they go with option C, that means the player cannot be placed back on waivers for the rest of the season and therefore cannot be traded at all.

once the player passes through waivers successfully, they can be traded at will.

lemme know if I got those last parts right, Brian.

Posted by: MrMadison | August 10, 2009 10:53 AM | Report abuse
---

I don't think "C" is quite right. They can be put on waivers again, they just can't be revoked twice in one year. So if you waive him again, you do so at risk that he might be claimed and then you can't pull back. In other words, the EVERY TEAM DOES IT discussion is b/c it's risk free one time/season.

Posted by: cdstej | August 10, 2009 11:03 AM | Report abuse

"In the coda of the Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor, composer Johann Sebastian Bach repeats the same chord sequence over and over again, leading the listener to anticipate one resolution, only to provide a tone completely different...."

WTF!?! This is the WP opening paragraph on recapping yesterday's Nationals game...or is it for the Washington National Symphony? What kind of baseball writing is that?

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | August 10, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

@mrmadison

What's your point other than to patronize commenters?

You're right, tons of players are placed on waivers this time of year. But that's not really the point of discussion. Since you seem to have missed it, I'll explain.

A player who the Nats HAVE BEEN TRYING TO TRADE MAY HAVE BEEN CLAIMED by a team who needs his services. All of the discussion thereafter have been about the merits of such a trade.

read it.
read it again.
and stop being a hater.

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 10, 2009 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Dukes would be a sensible alternative as a #2 hitter. He's fairly patient at the plate and can run. I was the one who suggested Dunn as the #2 guy, but I know realistically no manager would ever do that because it doesn't "look right". I would only point out though that he has a great OBP and his HR numbers would go up even higher if he batted 2nd. With Morgan on base he'd see lots of fastballs because catchers would not want to give Morgan 2nd base by throwing curves and change-ups when he's running.

The one thing about all this that I am rolling around in my head is the talk about Guzman not being "part of the future". He's about the same age as Willingham, Dunn, and several of the relievers that Rizzo is collecting to build the bullpen. In addition, teams when building tend to make big one or two year jumps. It happens quicker than people think. I'm not convinced that the Nats are poised to contend next year if Storen and Strasburg are in uniform, but I'm not convinced they aren't either.

If they trade Guzman, who's going to play SS? There is no one in the system and not many good FAs out there. If they do trade him, they should go strictly for defense and sign a .220 hitting great glove.

#4

Posted by: db423 | August 10, 2009 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I stand corrected regarding my comment about the Boston's minor league system.

I think it would be great to get more prospects.

Who is worth more $$$ to the Nationals? Strasburg or Guzman?

Posted by: jboogie1 | August 10, 2009 11:12 AM | Report abuse

Who cares about this year. 8-game winning streak included, we're the worst team in baseball. Dump him and sign a cheaper replacement for next year; Jack Wilson sounds nice.

Posted by: wawaweewa | August 10, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"WTF!?! This is the WP opening paragraph on recapping yesterday's Nationals game...or is it for the Washington National Symphony? What kind of baseball writing is that?"

Obviously whichever Post lackey wrote this gamer spent too much time listening to that guy play the National Anthem on the violin made out of a baseball bat Saturday night. (Which was way cool BTW.)

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | August 10, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse

"The one thing about all this that I am rolling around in my head is the talk about Guzman not being "part of the future". He's about the same age as Willingham, Dunn, and several of the relievers that Rizzo is collecting to build the bullpen."

#4: Exactly.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

okay, Scooter. I promise to leave your pants out of this. LOL

I will only be happy about trading Guzman if we get a really, really good player in exchange. I mean REALLY good.

ya'll gripe and moan about him, but he's the kind of guy you will really miss when he's gone.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2009 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, perhaps my snark was not clear enough. Willingham, Dunn, and several of the relievers that Rizzo is collecting to build the bullpen can't be counted on in the future either.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 11:17 AM | Report abuse

I voted to let Guzman go because of Brian's logical well written arguement to do so over at NFA. The crux being Guz is a free agent and arbitration eligibe. If he signs elsewhere without being offered arbitration by the NATS, the NATS get no compensatory draft pick. If they do offer Guz arbitration, Guz, Brian posits, will take it in a heartbeat for, again Brian, posits 9-10 million, and the NATS are stuck with a Nick clone to be traded in July, 2011 for whatever they can get. Correct me, if I messed up the argument Brian.

Posted by: adhardwick | August 10, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Boston-Red-Sox-after-Nationals-shortstop-Guzman?urn=mlb,181822

Good job, they show Belliard's photo in the article about Guzman.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | August 10, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Other than Hanley Ramirez I can't think of another SS I'd rather have in my lineup. He's fine with the glove and he's one of the best hitting SSs out there. What happens after next year? Does he take a pay cut? So you're basically eating the 8M for one year and then keeping one of the best SSs in baseball past next year for a lower pricetag? I think you keep him unless you can get a couple very good players. Your top seven in the lineup is set for next year if Flores comes back. The only open slot is 2B now and Gonzalez seems like he could fill that slot nicely too with some more seasoning through this year. I think you let this group play together and jell together the rest of the season and then re-evaluate in the off-season - unless, again, you get a phenomenal deal for him.

Posted by: AsstGM | August 10, 2009 11:19 AM | Report abuse

wow! guzman is the second best SS in baseball?

see, that's what i mean by "not overvaluing your own players."

506, i think a lot of people would have been happy seeing dunn and/or willingham traded in the right deal, too. you're right, they're not necessarily part of the future.

although, to be fair, willingham is under team control for a longer than either dunn or guzman, iirc. and for a lot less money. which makes him a more valuable commodity (both for the nats and in trade value).

plus i would posit that dunn has more "butts in the seats" value than either guzman or willingham. the soon-to-be 7th straight year of 40 HRs has value.

Posted by: sec231 | August 10, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

506:

Thanks for the "snark" clarification. By the way I hate that word. To me it's the root of the comments like the one Gammons made last night about the "one game winning streak". Or Mike Wise's idiotic comment about how WJFK was the "official station of the Red Sox" because nobody cared about the Nats. Gosh, I hate that attitude. Suddenly everybody needs to get a cheap laugh by making fun of someone else.

Anyway, I digress. The question that I think we need to ask is how far in the future the Nats need to look at being contenders. Look, if they can get a close to MLB ready player from the Sox for Guzman, I think that's fine. However, the guy started on two division winning teams in Minnesota hitting not nearly as well as he is hitting for the Nats. If the Nats feel like they could be wild card contenders next year, they should not give him up easily. Yes his contract is a bit inflated because of his impeccable timing; he signed just before the US economy went in the tank. However, the are a better team with him than with anyone else in their organization a SS.

#4

Posted by: db423 | August 10, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I evaluate deals like this as if the Nats had owners who have not proved themselves excessively frugal. In other words, let's pretend that the Lerners are average owners, in terms of their commitment to putting a quality product out on the field, in a big, affluent region.

You do whatever helps build a contender in 3 years or so. In that case, trade Guz! You could get prospects that help the Nats down the road, and you free up resources that could be used on younger players to build the club over time.

Realistically, as someone said, the Nats could just pocket the savings. But you still have to do what helps you the most in 3 or so years.

Posted by: EdDC | August 10, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Let's remember that Austin Kearns also makes around $8 million.At least Guzman performs.

Posted by: seanmg | August 10, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse

"Other than Hanley Ramirez I can't think of another SS I'd rather have in my lineup. He's fine with the glove and he's one of the best hitting SSs out there."

Hahah. Really? Ok how about Jeter, Rollins, Bartlett, Scutaro, Tulowitzi, Asudral Cabrera, Escobar, theriot, Izturis, Alexei Ramirez, and even Tejada all putting up better combined numbers than Guzman. Every one of these guys are faster, have more steals and (with 2 exceptions have better OPS numbers than Guzman.

Posted by: tboss | August 10, 2009 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I've been advocating forever that a great defensive SS would be a big addition to this team. Look what Morgan has done already in CF. Add a defensive stud in the offseason, and be happy you don't have to pay Guzman next year. He can hit sometimes, but he goes on long stretches where he provides nothing. From May 1 to July 22, when he woke up again, he hit .270/.289/.375 in 68 games, over 1/3 of the season.

Posted by: CharlieF | August 10, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

I don't know why I read these or comment myself, but I guess I'm just a glutton for punishment. How can people be so concerned with paying a proven major league shortstop 8M a year; be in favor of dumping his salary; then turn around and rail on about the Cheap Lerners? I also have to add that those who think that there are 10 better shortstops in baseball just don't get/have to watch the other 29 play every day. Most of what you see of them are the snippets on SportsCenter, not the six other grounders that they fielded or missed that day. He's not Ozzie in the field, but I'll take Guzman on my team any day, 8M or not.

Posted by: truke | August 10, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

@mrmadison

What's your point other than to patronize commenters?

You're right, tons of players are placed on waivers this time of year. But that's not really the point of discussion.
Posted by: dclifer97 | August 10, 2009 11:06 AM

my point is to clarify the whole waiver thing, since CLEARLY, someone did not understand it.

It WAS a point of discussion for SOMEONE, because SOMEONE commented on it.

hence the "why did they put Guzman on Waivers, OMG STOP BEING CHEAP" postings.

but thanks for trying.

Posted by: MrMadison | August 10, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Another comparison to ponder:

Player #1: .286 BA/29 HR/83 RBI/.383 OBP/.563 SLG/68 R/122 H/60 BB/78 K
Age: 29 2009 Salary: $26,625,000

Player #2: .281 BA/ 30 HR/ 84 RBI/.409 OBP/.586 SLG/58 R/108 H/83 BB/126 K
Age: 29 2009 Salary: $8,000,000

Who looks smarter right now?

Posted by: stantonpark | August 10, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"Thanks for the "snark" clarification. By the way I hate that word. "

It took me until Stan screamed at Barry for it to accept it.

Posted by: Section506 | August 10, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

but the funny part is, all this is probably over something that never happened.
Apparently, somebody claimed him, but as has been noted, for a shortstop hitting over .300 since his lasik, that's no surprise. Yeah, $8MM is a fair bit, but it's only for one more year. If that gets you a ring this year, it's cheap.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

wait, so truke, do YOU get to/have to watch the other 29 play every day? i mean, if you're going to bash his detractors for not seeing the rest of them play every day, i certainly hope that means you do. otherwise what's the point of bringing it up?

Posted by: sec231 | August 10, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I vote for Option #4 if and if that does not work then Option #3 as Brian put it....with a free ride to BOS

Option #4.....Kick in enough cash to get a decent prospect in return....say $5 Million.

Posted by: JayBeee | August 10, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and there is not a single name on the free agent shortstop list that I would take over Guzman, from Everett to Tejada.

Posted by: truke | August 10, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

And we can't know what next year's numbers will be, but isn't Guzman a free agent after 2010? If he's still hitting .315-ish by then, he's got to be a Type B, at least, no? Thus recouping some of that expense with a high draft pick or two you wouldn't get otherwise

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

sec3mysofa, you only get compensation for FAs if you offer them arbitration. and you only offer guzman arbitration if you're willing to sign him for, say, $9-10m for a year. i'm not sure the nats would want to risk that for a type B FA.

Posted by: sec231 | August 10, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

We're GOING to trade Guzman.

either Now, or next year at the deadline.

if not, then we'll let him walk for nothing at the end of 2010. because let's face it, if we offer him Arb at the end of 2010, he's goona take it. and then we'll be stuck paying 10m+ for a 33 year old slap-hitting SS with no power, no speed, no range, no plate discipline, and fading contact ability.(cue Cheap Lerner talk) cause there is no way he gets 10m+ on the FA market in 2011.

so the question is, do we want to get something for him now, get less for him at the deadline next year, or get nothing for him long term..or keep him long term?

right now, we have a lot more leverage. the Red Sox are desperate for a SS for their playoff run. He's signed for next year, so whoever we trade him too is set for 2010 as well. Furthermore, We don't HAVE to give him up. so we should press them for a good of an offer as we can possibly get. THIS is the time to overvalue your player. Ask for the Sun, Moon, and Stars, and hope they are willing to give you 2 out of the 3.

and if they aren't willing to do that, then walk away, keep your player, tell them "enjoy your crappy SS" and continue the season, and try again at the Deadline next year.

BUT, at the 2010 trade deadline, we won't have that kind of leverage, simply for the fact that Guzman will be a FA after that season, and he'll likely be able to be had for a lot less money and without giving up draft picks. so we'll have to ask for and receive less of a possible return. no way he gets more than 3m a season on the FA market. and for that reason, offering him Arb would be stupid. we'd end up paying him almost 3 times that much for his declining skill(singular, hitting for contact) after he accepts Arb. and the other teams will now this, and will lowball us at the deadline. and we'll end up getting something similar to what the Marlins gave us for NJ.

Trading Guzman now is not a short-term move, it's a long-term one.

so really the question is, do we want to keep Guzman into 2011, or do we want to find a replacement?

this is why I am not totally against trading Guzman now and finding the replacement sooner than later, provided we get a good return for him.

I wouldn't give him up for nothing though.

Posted by: MrMadison | August 10, 2009 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"I've been advocating forever that a great defensive SS would be a big addition to this team. Look what Morgan has done already in CF."

@CharlieF - Bingo!!! I've always been a defender of Guzman's defense but he has taken a precipitous drop in range this year. You just can't afford to have a mediocre defensive shortstop playing regularly particularly with young pitchers.

Posted by: ouvan59 | August 10, 2009 12:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, but that says more about why you're not a GM than why Guzman is a good ss.
********
Oh, and there is not a single name on the free agent shortstop list that I would take over Guzman, from Everett to Tejada.
Posted by: truke | August 10, 2009 11:59 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Periculum: In re -- but after a solid, not even close to spectacular, 5 inning, 5 hit, 1 ER performance that LOWERED his era to 5.91:

Then "let's go Nats"? Sounds pretty forced.

Okay so what's your beef. Everyone with the exception of Lannan and Zimmermann have been adapting to the big leagues. Before the season Lannan and Zimmermann were considered their top pitchers?

You might as well criticize every pitcher other than those two. Who would you prefer, Martin trying his best to win and apparently succeeding or Cabrera? Sheesh.

-----------

First of all the Go Nats! is not forced, I'm as a big a fan of the team as anyone, but for some reason you are just a HUGE J.D. Martin jocker. The guy is a career minor leaguer for a reason. And, yes, you're right the entire rotation is crap aside from Lannan. Zimmermann has shown some promise. Other than that, get rid of them all. We need to go out and get some FA front of the rotation guys this offseason (Sheets, Webb, Harden, Bedard, Marquis etc.), no reason not to get one of those guys. Throw him in the mix with Lannan, Zimmermann, Martis, and Olsen (or another veteran inning eater) and we might be on to something.

Our SP is garbage and if we're going to be competitive next year we need to spend the money to do so.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | August 10, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Another comparison to ponder:

Player #1: .286 BA/29 HR/83 RBI/.383 OBP/.563 SLG/68 R/122 H/60 BB/78 K
Age: 29 2009 Salary: $26,625,000

Player #2: .281 BA/ 30 HR/ 84 RBI/.409 OBP/.586 SLG/58 R/108 H/83 BB/126 K
Age: 29 2009 Salary: $8,000,000

Who looks smarter right now?

Posted by: stantonpark | August 10, 2009 11:55 AM

I know who player 2 is.

player 1 is Teixiera, right?

Posted by: MrMadison | August 10, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

We don't trade Guzzy unless we get a top prospect from Boston - my opinion and my prediction. I hope they have been watching him the last few weeks because he has been exciting to watch in the field. Not sure I ever said, or thought that since he came in 05. In fact, my opinion has been the opposite after seeing his errors or lack of hussle cause numerous losts, especially in 05. And that kicked grounder right around the all-star game!?

Off topic- what a great streak and what a great night of baseball Saturday (yesterday also but I went to the Park on Saturday).

The guy that did the national anthem with the violin-bat was the reincarnation of Jimmy Hendrix. That was the best rendition that I have EVER heard. How far we have come from the off-key God Bless America several weeks ago to now.

Go Nats!

Nine in-a-row on Tuesday.

Scalp the Braves ;>)

Posted by: alm1000 | August 10, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Just my 2 cents, ftr, but I'd keep Guzman until I know who my next ss is. There are two positions you don't want to throw someone into "just to see if it works," and shortstop is the other one. You can't be assured of signing any of the available free agents over the off-season. They might get hurt before then, someone else might overbid, they might be lised in the next report, they might be way overrated to begin with, and no improvement. No, Guzman is not the best ss in MLB. He's not the best ss in his own division. But he's competent, and that's easily undervalued, esp. when you're panicking with somebody else's money.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 12:09 PM | Report abuse

"lisTed on the next report."
We apologize for the error.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Everybody who *is* a GM please raise their hand. ...crickets... Yeah, that's what I thought. Just sayin'

---

OK, but that says more about why you're not a GM than why Guzman is a good ss.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

No, I don't think you just dump Guzman and "figure out shortstop-2010 after the season" - is that Jim Bowden posting? Figure out the options now, look at our minor leaguers, potential free agents and trade acquisitions. And then choose the course that has the best chance for success.

Some of you guys act like you are personally writing Guzman's paychecks.

Posted by: comish4lif | August 10, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

With the fourth lowest payroll in the game, it's not like Guzman's contract is holding the Nats back at all. If you can get something back then get it, but I'm not sure I'd dump him just to dump him.

Posted by: gtrain82 | August 10, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

upon further thought.

I think that you either trade Guzman now, or don't trade him at all, and just let him go into FA after 2010. The best possible return for Guzman will happen now. We'll get crap for him at the 2010 deadline.

It will make no sense to offer him Arb after 2010, because he'll accept it. You generally only offer Arb to players who you know won't accept it, so you can get the draft-pick compensation. then we'll be stuck paying over 10m for a slap-hitting SS who can't play SS defense anymore. If I recall, when you offer Arb, you have to give them at least a 20% raise from their last contract. which would be about 9.6m (i think, fuzzy math in progress). Guz will ask for, and receive more than that from an arbitrator. and he'd get only a fraction of that on the Open Market as a free agent.

Either trade him now, or commit to him being your SS for all of 2010, and then let him go into FA with no compensation.

Posted by: MrMadison | August 10, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

The fact is that Guzman was a Bowden guy and was signed to that ridiculous contract by Jimbo. Since Jimbo was fired the team has been unraveling almost every move he made, trading Guzman is the next step.

We could put his $8mil towards a real major league closer next year and get a much better defensive shortstop at a fraction of the price.

Let him go for nothing as long as his contract is off the books.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 10, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Even with Guz's $8 million the Nats have a low payroll, and Kearns's dollars come off next year. Strasburg will be cheap relative to veteran starting pitchers even at a high signing figure.

So Guzzie's salary is insignificant in the big picture. Trade him if there's value there - send Boston some cash to pay his salary if it helps - but keep him if there's no move that improves the team.

Geezer

Posted by: utec | August 10, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Guzman is a good hitter, and an average shortstop. Therein lies the conundrum. Do you pony up $8M for a potential liability in the field but decent table-setter? His value will never be higher. Jettison him and use the money saved next year to hire a more suitable replacement.

Posted by: SavedByZero | August 10, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Right now Guzman, Kearns and Da Meat Hook account for $21mil of our payroll, over 1/3 of our total salary outlay.

Imagine what the Lerners could do with all that money in the offseason. We may finally get a legit closer and we can upgrade SS and 2nd with that much money. And if we dont bring back Belly or Scott Olsen thats another $4.7mil off the books.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 10, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes? You, in the back of the room. No, fantasy baseball doesn't count. ;-)

---

Everybody who *is* a GM please raise their hand. ...crickets... Yeah, that's what I thought. Just sayin'

---

OK, but that says more about why you're not a GM than why Guzman is a good ss.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 12:12 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

A question about arbitration...

Why do people assume that his salary would go up to $10 million? I thought arbitration was to set a fair market price for the player. If the market price has gone down for SS's and he is "overpaid" as everyone says he is, why would he get $10 million from an arbitrator?

#4

Posted by: db423 | August 10, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Just backing up the bus here for a second.

First let me say that I have appreciated Guzman's efforts over the past 4 years. He had a rough 2005, but we know now that his vision was uncorrected. Since fixing that he has been a consistent offensive performer. His range and speed has decreased over the past 4 years, but his effort has not. For all the other attitude and performance problems we have had on this team, lets not forget that Guzman has played to the best of his abilities. You can't say that about every player that has been through this organization.

Pulling the bus forward again, I do think they should trade him if they can, but I do appreciate him very much and wish him the best.

Posted by: natbiscuits | August 10, 2009 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Can Bryce Harper play SS? Oh, right, we won't be getting him.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 10, 2009 12:29 PM | Report abuse

possibly much ado about nothing.

SI.com is saying that the Red Sox DID NOT claim Guzman.

says they were considering it, but decided not to at the last minute.

so rejoice, those of you who fear change!

Posted by: MrMadison | August 10, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

So, Imperious Leader, what should the republic be voting for?
_________________________________________
This poll's results make me weep for the republic.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy

Posted by: comish4lif | August 10, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Just looking around the league at all the great players that are much better than Guzman making much less.

Guzman's contract is one of the worst in baseball and for a bad team with frugal owners we cannot afford such a bad contract, let him go to the Sox who can.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 10, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Right now Guzman, Kearns and Da Meat Hook account for $21mil of our payroll, over 1/3 of our total salary outlay.

Imagine what the Lerners could do with all that money in the offseason. We may finally get a legit closer and we can upgrade SS and 2nd with that much money. And if we dont bring back Belly or Scott Olsen thats another $4.7mil off the books.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 10, 2009 12:21 PM
______________________________________________________________

I'm not going to get my hopes up, because the cheap Lerner's will probably use that money to pay down the loan they took out to purchase the team.

Posted by: Section505203 | August 10, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse

FYI Hanley Ramirez made $5.5 mil to Guz's $8mil, Bowden was such a great negotiator.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 10, 2009 12:34 PM | Report abuse

how was culinary camp, chico?

Posted by: surly_w | August 10, 2009 12:37 PM | Report abuse

A question about arbitration...

Why do people assume that his salary would go up to $10 million? I thought arbitration was to set a fair market price for the player. If the market price has gone down for SS's and he is "overpaid" as everyone says he is, why would he get $10 million from an arbitrator?

#4

Posted by: db423 | August 10, 2009 12:26 PM

the thing about Arbitration, and Brian correct me if I am wrong, is that you can't make LESS than your last contract, regardless of what the FA Market is. If you accept Arb, you don't go to FA and therefore that Market does not apply to you.

In fact, the team is required to provide at LEAST a 20% raise from the last contract. my Fuzzy Math says that means that Guzman would make, at minimum, 9.6m in 2011.

Guzman can ask for more. and given his "offensive production" (i.e. high batting average), he will. imo, i think he asks for at least 11m. I'm not sure if Arbitration works differently for players under team control than for players in FA years, but it is my understanding that the Arbitrator chooses EITHER His number, or the Team's Number. and I do not think that focusing on his Defensive skills(or lack thereof) will be enough to persuade the Arbitrator to not go with Guzman's number.

but either way, if we offer him Arb, we'll definitely be paying him close to 10m in 2011. which is far, far more than he'd get on the FA Market. I think he'd get 3-4m a year at most, through FA.

Posted by: MrMadison | August 10, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

I will only be happy about trading Guzman if we get a really, really good player in exchange. I mean REALLY good.

ya'll gripe and moan about him, but he's the kind of guy you will really miss when he's gone.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2009 11:16 AM

-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

I agree NatsNut ... I say we only trade Guzman if we can get high draft picks for him.

Posted by: ihatewalks | August 10, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

So who leaked the waiver claim and why? What would the Red Sox gain from the false leak (other than to up their news hits)? Was it someone in the MLB FO? That place leaks like a sieve.

Posted by: dclifer97 | August 10, 2009 12:40 PM | Report abuse

agree NatsNut ... I say we only trade Guzman if we can get high draft picks for him.

Posted by: ihatewalks

++++++++++++

LOL! good one. it's been awhile.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Wow, even half the fans are too cheap to want to pay for Guzman. Maybe you'll get what you want. Nada. I say pay the man who's playing well and pass on that screwball Boras and his dillusional underling Strasburg.

Posted by: richs91 | August 10, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

peteywheatstrw says: "FYI Hanley Ramirez made $5.5 mil to Guz's $8mil, Bowden was such a great negotiator."

That's apples and oranges. Guz was available and was beyond his arbitration years. He was in free agency.

Ramirez makes $5.5 in 2009 because he would have been in an arb year in 2009, so he had smaller leverage. And you can't just sign Ramirez anyway, like you could Guz. He was under team control, first by Boston and then by Marlins. You would have to trade tons of talent to the Marlins to get Hanley. Start with both Zims and go upward from there.

Ramirez's salary goes way up in the out years, by the way, and may be part of a future Marlins' salary dump

Bowden gets blamed for far too much on this site. The guy was creative with a miniscule budget.

Posted by: EdDC | August 10, 2009 12:55 PM | Report abuse

dclifer, it's possible it didn't leak, it was just spilled, or misinformation.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Madison:

I don't think you're right about arbitration. Take a look at this link.

http://baseball.suite101.com/article.cfm/how_baseball_arbitration_works

First, the stipulation is that the offer must be a least 80% of the prior year's contract which for Guzman would be $6.4 million. Second that rule applies only to players who are not free agent eligible - more than 3 but less than 6 years of MLB service. There are no restrictions on the club's offer as far as I can tell for someone like Guzman

You should read the link too though to make sure I read it correctly. Also I suppose we have to trust the source.

#4

Posted by: db423 | August 10, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter about other players, only other shortstops. And Guzman was playing ML baseball a year before Hanley Ramirez was even drafted, so that's not a fair comparison.

*********
Just looking around the league at all the great players that are much better than Guzman making much less.

Guzman's contract is one of the worst in baseball and for a bad team with frugal owners we cannot afford such a bad contract, let him go to the Sox who can.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 10, 2009 12:33 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

The conversation should go something like this...

Rizzo: Theo, you have some guy named Nick Green playing SS from you and right now you are out of the playoffs, we have a guy who has 12 multi hit games in his last 15, are you interested in giving us a top pitching prospect or 1B prospect?

If Theo says yes, do the deal, if Theo does not say have fun missing the playoffsand embrace Guz-mania until July 2010.

Posted by: markfd | August 10, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Chico,

I thought that was why Rizzo (and to a lesser extent Bowden) wanted to "collect" all the prospect pitching "baseball cards"?

The middle infield: shortstop and second need to be addressed. Attempts have been made by Bowden and all have failed. FLop, Guzman, Bonafacio?

Aren't there some very good "prospect" shortstops out there who are ready or almost ready that could be acquired? One would almost automatically assume that would be where Rizzo would look first?

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

I love all this back and forth about a slow,poor fielding, slap hitting,shortstop, man Guzzie has filled up the blog space today.The Lerners and Rizzo keep Guzman only if they think they can compete next year and IMO they need quality starters guys who can go seven plus innings on a consistent basis they have the makings of a good offense with Flores comming back healthy this team could be .500 plus so i say stand pat with Guzman unless like i said you get a offer that makes sense.

Posted by: dargregmag | August 10, 2009 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Technically, Boras works for Strasburg, which I suppose makes him a delusional overling.

***********
I say pay the man who's playing well and pass on that screwball Boras and his dillusional underling Strasburg.
Posted by: richs91 | August 10, 2009 12:54 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

"Can Bryce Harper play SS? Oh, right, we won't be getting him.

Posted by: twinbrook | August 10, 2009"

Thank god! I don't see Strasburg signed sealed and delivered yet?

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Two comments - Varitek wasn't developed by the Sawx. But - they did trade for him early in his career. From Seattle for Heathcliff Slocumb.

As for waivers - everyone gets puts on waivers and it is part smokescreen. If the Nats wanted to trade only Guzman and waived only Guzman, everyone would know what they were up to, and other teams would try and stop it. But if every team places nearly every player on revocable waivers, it's harder for the Yankees to figure out that the Nats and Sawx might be up to something.

And (Brian, correct me if I am wrong) teams are limited in the number of claims that they are able to make on a given day (week?). And teams are limited in the number of players that they can have on revocable waivers at any moment - I've heard that the limit is three. So, with 30 teams, there are 90 players out there on revocable waivers at any given time.

And for those of you that understand this intimately, I'm not talking down to you, I'm just trying to explain it to others that haven't learned this before.

Posted by: comish4lif | August 10, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"Guzman is a good hitter, and an average shortstop. Therein lies the conundrum. Do you pony up $8M for a potential liability in the field ..."

Because he doesn't walk and for some reason must hit #2, he may be a liability at the plate at the #2 slot. I still think they would be better off putting Dukes and his speed there.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

------------------

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/08/olney-on-guzman-hardy-rays-rios.html

ESPN.com's Buster Olney says we should know today whether anyone has successfully claimed Cristian Guzman off waivers. However, some executives say Guzman isn't worth the $8MM he makes annually.

---------------------

go figure. looks like the other teams' owners are too cheap to pay Guzman too....

Posted by: MrMadison | August 10, 2009 1:10 PM | Report abuse

On the use of too many WaPo resources on the Redskins. Right now the Nats look to be improving and to a greater extent going in the right direction. The Redskins likely will end up dead last in the division as many pundits outside of DC predict. The offensive line wasn't "sexy" enough for D. Snyder to consider during the draft. So now its brittle and likely to collapse sooner rather than later.

Posted by: periculum | August 10, 2009 1:11 PM | Report abuse

"However, some executives say Guzman isn't worth the $8MM he makes annually."

It only takes one.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

either way I say, AMEN.

**********
Technically, Boras works for Strasburg, which I suppose makes him a delusional overling.

***********
I say pay the man who's playing well and pass on that screwball Boras and his dillusional underling Strasburg.
Posted by: richs91 | August 10, 2009 12:54 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | August 10, 2009 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: NatsNut | August 10, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The Sawx are really hurting at the moment, especially after this weekend - not only a sweep, but only 10 minutes and one half inning of lead during the four games. Their offense was mute, and their starting shortstop is now on the DL.

Time to get a hot AAA level prospect, at least, in return.

Posted by: lpryluck1 | August 10, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are in the drivers seat on this one...

We don't need to trade him, we may not even want to trade him.

The only way you let him go is if the Bosox make the Nats an offer they can't refuse.

Thats it...

Posted by: muddapucker | August 10, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Boswell - Guzman is the most underrated Nat.

Posted by: jgbay | August 10, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Interesting tidbit on how many players per team may be on revocable waivrs at any given time. On the comment about claiming Guzman, it is assumed by many that the 8 million contract would give teams pause to make a claim just to block because those teams would be afaird that the NATS would let him go. The NATS have placed him on revocable waivers, if he clears than the dance with Boston (Boston says it did not make a claim but would be interested if he clears) begins.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | August 10, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Guz will clear waivers and the Nats can trade him to whoever they want. They will be forced with a decision: trade Guz for a high prospect and pay all of this years salary and most of next years. Meaning you pay 425K for a player on the roster and approx. 10 million for a player not on the roster. Or you trade Guz for a low A prospect, who won't be ready till 2011, and the Sox pick up Guzman's salary. I prefer the later option. You free up 8 mil to help sign strasburg. Espinosa looks like the best option in mid 2010. Then you play Gonz at SS and Harris at 2B, and bat Harris in the 2nd spot.
Lineup looks like
2009
Morga-CF
Harris-2B
Zimm-3B
Dunn-1B
Willingham-LF
Dukes-RF
Bard-C
Gonz-SS
Pitcher

Posted by: wrw0601 | August 10, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

My take is that Guzman has below average defensive skills and is a streaky hitter. But he is a competent major league player, and as such, the Nats should get something usable at the major league level in return if he is traded. The team has only been playing acceptable major league baseball for the past three weeks or so, and any trade that results in more A or AA league prospects is not a good one. This team needs to establish major league credibility.

Posted by: raymitten | August 10, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

so today i've learned that Lerner's are cheap, and also they pay their players above market salaries.

Posted by: longterm | August 10, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

New post.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 10, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

so today i've learned that Lerner's are cheap, and also they pay their players above market salaries.

Posted by: longterm | August 10, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

________________________________

Doesn't that make them inept instead of cheap?

Posted by: TimDz | August 10, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Get rid of him, even if you don't get a player back. Just like the Yankees got stuck with Canseco and the Padres with a washed up Randy Myers 10 years ago, the Nationals should be happy to take this salary off the books. It accomplishes a number of purposes.

1) More money (in theory) to sign Strasburg
2) Team probably gets worse for rest of 2009, which helps keep us "ahead" in race for Bryce Harper
3) See if either of Mike Morse (27 years old some major league experience at SS) or the AROD clone -- oh right that was 2005-- Ian Desmond- Desmond still has troubles fielding, but worth a shot if Morse doesn't work out.

Guzman has had a serviceable career for the Nats, but he's definitely lost three steps in the field. Let's deploy that money (assuming the Lerner's would) on someone younger and still on the upside. Worse case scenario, they should be able to get a vet who could match his 2010 production for 1/3 to 1/2 of the price in the 2009 FA market.

Posted by: pennquaker | August 10, 2009 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone think the Sox would really offer anything of good value for guzman?

Maybe an average aaa prospect or an A ball middle infielder with good spped and glove but weak hitting.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 10, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

I like more and more the idea of gonzo at short and willy at 2nd and 2nd in the line up, will this drastically change the number of wins and losses the rest of the season?

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | August 10, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

With Guzman in the lineup, the Nats now have five hitters around .300.

Remove him and the offense fizzles again.

The only way Guzman should be traded is if the Nats get some value.

Period.

Posted by: jbartelloni | August 10, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

This was a false rumor. The Sox never put in a claim. The point is moot:

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2009/08/cristian-guzman-clears-waivers.html

Posted by: inthestreetindustry | August 10, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Since the Red Sox will offer at best a mid-level AA prospect or possibly only a couple of A leaguers, the question becomes whether we want a AAA-calibre SS like Gonzales or Desmond playing the position for the rest of year and possibly next? Are we in complete rebuilding mode such that we should be trading Guzman, Willingham, and Dunn before the trade deadline next year? I think trading Guzman would be a clear indication that 2010 is another lost year and the Nats will move Dunn while he still has value.

Personally, I've seen enough of the rebuilding process for the last 5 years and would like to field a competitive team for next year. Keeping Guzman ensures us a .300 hitter and a serviceable shortstop who strengthens the batting order hitting after Morgan and before our 3-4-5 men. It's no coincidence that the Nats have scored a lot more runs over the last 10 games with Guzman hitting in the 2-hole.

Yes, it would save the Nats $8 million next year by trading Guzman but it isn't exactly like we have any other highly paid players except Dunn and Zimmerman on the payroll for next year. Kearns, Young, and Belliard will all be gone in the offseason and Nick Johnson was traded already. We're looking at a payroll of around $50M for next season which is one of the lowest in the league. I can't see justifying trading Guzman just because he's paid above the market value.

Posted by: wizfan89 | August 10, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

LERNERS, SELL THE TEAM IF YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SPEND ANY MONEY, YOU CHEAP BAST@#$s!!!

Posted by: BarackObama | August 10, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

What is a prospect? He is an unproven commodity,a hope, someone of future value who make take years to develop or he may end up injured or a lifelong minor leaguer who may never pan out he could be the next Ben McDonald, David Clyde, or Bo Belinsky.He could be a one year wonder/flash in the pan or the next Cy Young winner/MVP, the pressure of failure can make him mentally unstable or even worse make him hide in a bottle seeking solace or make him a drug abuser.The upside can be tremendous the downside well..........

Posted by: dargregmag | August 10, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Offer Guzman to the Bosox for Jed Lowrie, SS. He'd be cheaper, younger and he's got a shot to get better. Guzman is not a good ss. Good Teams are strong up the middle like the Phils are and the Nats are not. Guzman's an OK hitter on streak, Get him while he's hot Sox fans!!!

Posted by: billm32 | August 10, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse

man, Guzman gets a bd rap. Just in the NL there's Furcal and Renterria are making the same or more money, and with long terms commitment for the big money, and playing more poorly than Guzie. Is he overpaid for the production, maybe, but not grossly so.

Posted by: dfh21 | August 10, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

If some of our starting pitchers average 25 starts per year with a .530 Winning Percentage 3.91 ERA and 1.25 WHIP for 8 years like McDonald did, I think we'd be pleased.

Ben McDonald was hardly a flash in the pan.

Posted by: pennquaker | August 10, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

So I guess this means that SS Carlos D. Alvarez, formerly known as Esmailyn Gonzalez, is still not ready yet despite his recent maturation in age?

Posted by: JohnWWW | August 10, 2009 11:54 PM | Report abuse

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